Over the last six years Tigers fans could agree on one thing regarding Ryan Raburn: he was a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in pissing fans off.
But now that Raburn is no longer a Tiger, who will step up to ensure Tiger fans’ blood is consistently boiling? Let’s take a look.
Oct 27, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Phil Coke (40) reacts after pitching against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of game three of the 2012 World Series at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
1. Phil Coke
The postseason proved Coke was willing to step up when the team needed it. Well, the fans need this scapegoat, so Coke is more than qualified.
Oct 14, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila catches a foul ball hit by New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (not pictured) in the 8th inning during game two of the 2012 ALCS at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
2. Alex Avila
A dark horse candidate for sure. But Avila is a pretty good defender with a bat that has underwhelmed despite flashes of brilliance. Sound familiar?
Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Omar Infante is hit in the hand with a pitch in the 9th inning during game four of the 2012 World Series against the San Francisco Giants at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports
3. Omar Infante
Future tweet: “We gave up Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn for this?!” His chances increase if Anibal Sanchez isn’t re-signed.
May 20, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont (22) in the dugout before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
4. Gene Lamont
Yeah, we already complain about him constantly, but could Lamont become the first third base coach to take away all scorn from players? That’s a pretty high bar but if anyone can do it, it’s Lamont, who as we speak just sent another runner home.
June 2, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers batting coach Lloyd McClendon (8) watches batting practice before the game against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
5. Lloyd McClendon
As the ever helpful @gkern pointed out: “He’s number one on my list, I mean he’s even got an assistant coach to help him out.” Yuo, can’t say much more than that.
June 30, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Don Kelly (32) on deck to bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Detroit Tigers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Don Kelly (if re-sgined)
He’s a free agent now, but if he re-joins the team, he has to be the leader in the clubhouse.
Inexplicable amount of playing time? Check. Little League pop in his bat? Check. Reputation as a defensive wunderkind although you’re not entirely sure why the ability to play any position makes him Brooks Robinson in the eyes of some? Check.
Seriously, is Kelly just Raburn wearing someone else’s face?